If you sell jewelry online, chances are you use one of the many eCommerce platforms for makers, such as Etsy or Amazon Handmade. So is it even worth spending the time and effort to create your own eCommerce website when you have so many big-name platforms to choose from? In a word, yes. Maintaining your own site is a fantastic way to sell jewelry online.
Sell jewelry online (without the middleman) in 3 steps
Name your shop.
Create your eCommerce store.
Fill your jewelry cases.
Before we walk through the process of building your own online store, let’s talk a little bit about what makes this an attractive option for serious artisans and jewelers.
Why do I need my own store?
While I’m not saying shut down your Etsy shop, it’s worth investing time and money in your own website, especially if you’re serious about taking your jewelry-making career to the next level.
Having your own website makes your business look legit. On your own site, you have the ability to fully customize your own branding and layout in a way that you can’t on sites like Etsy. You can direct the flow of traffic, encourage people to sign up for your newsletter (hello, handy pop-ups!) and show them similar products they might like.
All the profits
Anytime you sell jewelry online on someone else’s site, you’re giving up a portion of the profits in the form commission. Sell that same bracelet or necklace from your own website, and the profits are all yours.
Your own identity
Having your own website also makes your brand more memorable. How many times have you heard someone say, “I got this on Etsy!” instead of, “I got it from this cute online shop called Two Little Peonies?” Yep, raising my hand here on this one.
When you sell jewelry online via your own website, people look at your jewelry as its own entity instead of just another piece in a sea of products.
While you might be immersed in the world of Etsy and know it better than your best friend, your average customer might not realize they’re buying something from you, an individual jewelry designer, instead of from Etsy itself.
A (more) captive audience
In fact, on Etsy a potential customer could inadvertently click a link that takes them out of your shop. It’s much easier to keep visitors on your own site when they’re not distracted by all the pretty shiny objects floating around those big eCommerce platforms.
Control over your destiny
When a site makes a major change to their platform — and that’s been known to happen — it can impact the flow of traffic to your individual shop and ultimately the number of sales you make. On your own website, you decide what changes to make. If you don’t like them or they have a negative impact on sales, just change it back!
And what happens if the eCommerce platform you’re selling your jewelry through decides to suddenly close or suspend your shop without any warning? (Yes, that can happen.) Poof, there goes your entire customer base and sources of traffic.
How to sell jewelry online: A quick-start guide
If the thought of setting up your own website makes you want to hyperventilate, take a deep breath. If you’re in this for the long haul, you’ll find it’s worth it. It’s not something that needs to happen overnight. Break it down into smaller steps, and before you know it, you’ll be able to sell jewelry online from your very own store.
1. Name your shop
The very first step is to get your domain name. If your jewelry business already has a name, that’s the best place to start. Go to GoDaddy, type “yourjewelrybusiness” into the box up top, and see what comes up. If it’s available, huzzah! Now, go purchase it before someone snatches it. Even if you’re still days away from setting up your own website, the low cost of holding onto that domain far outweighs the cost you could incur should someone else get it before you.
In the event that your domain is already taken, GoDaddy will give you other domain name possibilities, including extension options and variations on your shop name. Maybe you’ll find something you like even better!
Consider adding the word “shop” or “jewelry” after your company’s name if the .com isn’t available. For example, if your jewelry business is called Two Little Peonies but the domain twolittlepeonies.com is already taken, consider twolittlepeonies.shop or twolittlepeonies.jewelry.
Perhaps one of the most important considerations when choosing your domain name is to make sure it’s memorable and easy to spell. While Google is pretty good at figuring out wonky spellings, you don’t want to lose out on potential jewelry sales because your clever name is way too complicated to figure out.
2. Create your eCommerce store
It’s now time to build a website where you can sell jewelry online. Start by choosing a platform and a host. There are plenty of options for building your own eCommerce website, such as Squarespace, Wix, Shopify, BigCommerce or WordPress using a plugin like WooCommerce. Another option is GoDaddy’s new GoCentral Store, which has hosting and everything you need already built in.
Most of the big platforms often have drag-and-drop templates or themes that make setting up your storefront a breeze. However, if this part freaks you out or you want it fully customized, you can always hire a web designer to do the heavy lifting for you.
The two main things you will need are payment gateways and an SSL certificate.
Popular payment gateways include PayPal, Stripe, Square and Amazon Pay. You can set up one or multiple gateways — you just need a bank account to link it to so the money has a place to go.
An SSL Certificate turns the http at the beginning of your web address to https. To see this in action, click on your browser bar right now. See the green https:// and the padlock icon? That tells you that this website is protected by an SSL certificate. That’s how you know that any information you send to or receive from this website will be encrypted and hidden from hackers and thieves.
Even if you have a payment gateway set up with a secure third-party provider, you still need the SSL Certificate to sell jewelry online. It shows your customers that you’re serious about protecting their information. You can purchase an SSL certificate directly through GoDaddy or through your hosting company.
3. Fill your jewelry cases
Now that your store is set up, it’s time to fill it with your beautiful, handmade jewelry! Be sure to use well-lit, high-resolution photos to highlight your pieces. Add in compelling sales copy and use language that will resonate with your ideal customer. Try to incorporate relevant keywords when you can to increase your chances of being found in search results.
Once your shop is set up, you’re ready to go! Be sure to test it out to make sure the checkout process works and everything flows smoothly. Before you know it, you could find yourself saying goodbye to the big eCommerce platforms. And hello to your own jewelry store.